Chapter 3: Mad World

By: Eclipsedwonderland

Inspired by: L J Smith

Beta-Read by: Eclipsedwonderland

The sun broke not so softly over the eastern hills as I drove through the green, rolling hills state of Pennsylvania. Although the light didn't hit me directly in the eyes, it landed perfectly into my peripheral vision which was almost as annoying as an itch you couldn't scratch. The only sound was soft breaths and the soft rum of the engine as I drove, the peace actually euphoric. As everyone else slept, I was able to enjoy some quiet for the first time in many days, too many days. Everything was peaceful and good at the moment. Stefan wasn't being a sprog, Elena hadn't woken up yet, Tyler was mine, and Rebekah was dead asleep. Everything was better when Rebekah was dead asleep. There's no exception to that rule.

I felt a small smile of contentment play on my lips as I drove due west, not needing the sleep that my companions did. I continued to feel my eyes drift toward Stefan against my will and I would flood with pride; he was my creation and my possession. What I really couldn't wait for was Elena waking up and really understanding the change that had happened to Stefan. Suddenly, an increased pulse and breathing came from behind me followed by further ruckus. I smirked widely and eyed the terrified brunette in my review mirror.

"Good morning, love. I trust you slept well?" My words dripped in sarcasm as her doe eyes settled on mine, realization flooding through her. I watched as her slow brain moved, first bringing a hand up to examine the bite marks on her neck, then to glare at me, then to push Tyler off of her and then to glare up at me again. It was precious to watch. She was just such a moral fool, too much like Elijah I say.

"You hungry, love? We do have to stop for gas soon. I know I am." I sneered.

She crossed her arms across her chest in defiance. Yes, much too much like Elijah. "No."

I sighed, enjoying my play thing, "Come on, Elena. You can't lie to me."

She glanced up at that, a brief fear flashing through her eyes. She recognized the power I forced myself to exhibit and, unlike some idiots in the car, she feared and respected it. I glanced at Rebekah in the rear view mirror. At least my little sister understood that now. She always looked strangely human when she slept and it never ceased to bring back memories of times before Anya, before the curse changed our family forever.

Enough.

Returning to the object of my current interest, I eyed Elena. Her head was bowed, fingers working frantically on her cell phone as she texted. It was probably Damon, but I really didn't care much. She had no idea where she was and, besides, watching him fight to get her back was amusing. Before I could inquire about her text message a loud growl filled the car. Elena's cheeks blushed a crimson red which would have been appetizing on anyone but her and I laughed boldly out loud, "See? You're much too human to lie to me. Don't worry, dear Elena, I will keep you well fed and in good health." I stared at her with a false lover's care, "You are much too precious to me now."

If it was possible, her glare grew harder and more hateful, "Just let me know when you see Mikael creeping up behind you," She leaned in as my jaw clenched involuntarily, "I'll know when to run." she whispered and leaned back triumphantly.

It didn't surprise me she knew about Mikael, Damon Salvatore was never known for his quiet mouth, but how much did he know? Judging by Damon's words, it wasn't much and they most certainly didn't know the most important part of the tale. Sure he could kill me, but there was a secret much more telling than that buried with him.

Looking back at Elena I saw the brief look of masked triumph on her face and smirked a bit. She did have some Katerina in her. How charming. Another russeling sound came from beside me as Stefan slowly came into consciousness. I watched, out of the corner of my eye, as it happened. His peaceful, young, innocent face shifted, lines appearing, a permanent furrow returning to his brow, his mouth twitched into a small smirk and when his eyes finally pulled open all I saw was a killer. His ivy green eyes showed no remorse, no love, no adoration at the beautiful morning: Nothing. Just a cold, calculating, vicious gaze of a vampire off the rails. I thrived in it. My smile grew stronger as he turned his attention to me, the first glimpse of something like emotion coming through. It was not love, or adoration, or hatred it was respect and fear. And a dark, sardonic joy.

"Good morning." I said, my voice strangely quiet and lacking sarcasm. I was still in awe of this creature, I had to admit. He sat up a bit, trying to discreetly wipe the drool from his mouth and my smirk returned.

"Morning." He said grinning. Barely turning back he acknowledged Elena, "Elena." He then turned back to me and grinned with almost a childlike glee, "Who's for breakfast? I'm starving."

Again I laughed boldly and returned the glare Elena had given me earlier. She was in pure shock, her eyes wide and face drawn at Stefan's pure lack of humanity. She finally acknowledged my stare and settled in defeat. 2 for Nicklaus, 0 for Elena. You know, they say even if you win the battles you may not win the war, but with Stefan staring at me eagerly like that, it was very hard to believe.

After some time, and some conversation between Stefan and I, my stubborn little sister awoke and stretched, quickly waking Tyler. The instant Tyler opened his eyes I stopped the sentence I was saying and watched him intently in the mirror. To my immense satisfaction, he looked directly up at me with eyes awaiting my command. Stefan shifted, I assumed to look back at Tyler, but Tyler didn't seem to notice in the slightest. I was here and that's all that mattered to him.

"Yes, I think we shall get along quite nicely." I muttered and grinned back at him."Hello Tyler, welcome to your new life."

He nodded his head deeply and gazed back on me. I observed all the coiled muscles and excitement under Tyler's skin; another piece of my heart stitched back together. Yes, loneliness was ending.

"What should I call you...?" He nearly whispered to me. I laughed a bit without humor, "You may call me as you always have. 'Klaus' suits just fine."

He rolled my name off his tongue as if tasting a new drug and looked distantly away. I returned my eyes to the road, but I felt a light seething coming from beside me. I glanced over to Stefan, but he seemed perfectly content as he stared out the window towards the cold, cruel world of ivy green hills and sunshine. The world could be so deceptive at times. Elena's sharp tone broke through my reverie as she grabbed Tyler and shook him.

"Tyler! What the Hell? This is Klaus! He's the bad guy, remember?" Tyler stared right though her, obviously not remembering. Stefan turned around and laughed.

"Obviously he doesn't, Elena." He said in a tone that returned those happy feelings to my heart from the night before.

She glared, "Don't even get me started on you! I'll deal with you later!" She said in a deathly cold tone.

Stefan raised his hands in surrender and turned back around, chuckling. Rebekah and I joined in and Elena, after trying a few times to get Tyler's attention, sighed in frustration and settled to crossing her arms in defeat. Again. I was getting way too good at beating her.

"He's only loyal to me now, love. You can have a conversation with him when he feeds, right now he's in a bit too much..." I paused for a second, seeming to look for the right word, "awe." I grinned sardonically at her and Rebekah let out a sarcastic laugh.

"'Awe', Nick? Really?" I grinned at her and couldn't help but allow some affection to shine through toward my sister. Although no one else would ever know, Rebekah was perhaps the... Dearest? Thing to me. I suppose I cared for her, not really for her company, but because of family. She never once deserted me and was the only family member who never did. Although she did try. Ha. We all saw how that turned out.

Ignoring her comment I eyed a gas station up ahead. It was dirty, dingy, and looked like the people lived on a penny a day, but what the Hell? All the gas stations in this country were like that.

"Alright, kiddies. Breakfast is up ahead." I said, grinning at Elena's horrified expression.

We pulled into the parking lot, my poor truck bouncing ruthlessly up and down in the pot holes of the parking lot. I could smell the stench of the people through the car and my nose involuntarily scrunched up.

"Oh what? You're 'aristocratic' taste too good for these poor people?" Elena remarked coldly.

Stefan grinned back at her, "I always knew you were a little bitch under everything, Elena." He laughed, "Too bad I fell so head over heels before I knew about it." I watched Stefan closely as he turned around and eyed her, "Maybe I should warn my brother before he breaks his neck trying to save you."

I saw Elena's hand raise in slow motion as she reached out to slap him. Out of instinct, one that I truly can't understand, I grabbed it before she could move. Every eye in the car turned to me and an awkward silence followed as I eased the car next to a gas pump. Quickly unbuckling I turned to face her fully. Lava had begun flowing from a volcano I didn't even know existed inside me.

"I'd rather you not hit him, dearest. Might ruin his perfect complexion." I said sarcastically, yet not all of the anger was hidden. I glanced at Rebekah briefly, noting her confused look. Looking back at Elena , I willed my eyes to fill with the anger I felt and instantly saw the reaction of anxiety in her chocolate brown ones. My grip was loose, but she started shaking anyway and then, the moment was past and I was out of the car, sliding my alias credit card into the machine and placing the gas pump in the car. Everyone quickly followed except for Elena whom I assumed would stay in the car. I felt Stefan standing next to me, but I waited a few moments before acknowledging him. Nothing wrong with keeping a lollipop away from a child just a bit longer, right? Forcing my anger to abate, I looked up at him with a grin. I saw no question as to my actions in his blood-lusting eyes. Good. It was better that way. Besides, how could I have explained?

"Go on then. Take Rebekah with you, teach her how a real Ripper acts, Stefan." I nearly whispered to him and before I could turn back around he was gone, tearing apart the people inside the gas station. The screams created a symphony that Elena just had to hear so, with some excitement, I finished filling the tank and sat in the car, leaving the door open.

Closing my eyes, I reclined listening to the blood curdling screams. It truly was beautiful just to listen.

"It is breathtaking, is it not?" I asked her, my voice slowly slipping into relaxation. I couldn't deny it much longer, I was tired and hungry. I'd have to feed and... Let Rebekah take the wheel. A searing anger coursed through me. I hated when Rebekah drove or had any control. I slowly opened my eyes, watching Elena, but I couldn't see her because she was leaning out the car door retching up whatever food was left in her stomach. I laughed sardonically and swiftly ran onto the other side of the car to hold back her hair as she gagged. The smell was awful, but the damage on Elena's psyche was enough reason for me to stay. Of course, I really didn't care if her hair was drenched in barf, but acting like I did was just a fun little game to play with her.

"Didn't mean to make you sick, love." I muttered in her ear, resting my hand on her back. She cringed and threw up more chunks. "Thought you might find it as exciting as I did." I whispered. One little eye came up and glared at me as she wrenched herself away from me and into the car, not even bothering to wipe her mouth. I sneered back at her. Yup, this was much better than her being dead.

The screams were dying down so I closed the car doors and locked it, making my way to the convenient store. The interior was much as I expected: dingy, dirty, off white, and covered in blood. There had been only 7 souls in the station, but it seemed enough for my Ripper, Tyler, and Rebekah. I could tell, after one glance at Rebekah, that she was disturbed by what she saw. I smirked at that, it took a lot for Rebekah to be shocked. Tyler was in awe, of course, with blood dripping from his chin. Judging by the scars on some corpses, Stefan wasn't the only one tearing people apart. Then I saw him.

Only his back at first as he gazed at the wreckage around him. He stood strong, fearless and joyful as he gazed at what he had accomplished. My lips tugged into a smile as I watched him lick the last bits of blood from his fingers and turn to me. His eyes were wild, empty, and flooded with blood lust. I felt a small jolt of exhilaration that felt something like fear. His face was frozen in a grin. All at once, the smell of blood hit me. I needed it and I needed it now. If I didn't have some soon, I would loose my very long wire of self control in this mess. I felt my face contract a fraction of an inch in need, but quickly repaired it. A slight gasp from Rebekah let me know that she saw it and, sighing, I looked at her.

"Rebekah, if you would..." I said my voice calm.

"There's no one left, Klaus." She said, staring at me as her eyes got wider. I hadn't fed, I realized, in at least a week. I was so obsessed with watching Stefan do his magic that I hadn't partaken in much blood myself. And a Hybrid off the rails was not exactly a good thing. Rebekah had seen me before and let's just say my stubborn attitude continued into my uncontrollable blood lust. I wouldn't listen, wouldn't be controlled. Almost tore Elijah's head off last time. I'd kill everyone in a ten mile radius, at least. It may be a secret from Stefan, but in reality his Ripper kills had nothing on mine. I always got pretty creative.

I sighed irritably, trying not to betray my hunger to Tyler or Stefan. No weakness could be seen. Then I got an idea. And once it hit me, it became nearly irresistible. I turned, grinning, away from Rebekah and toward Stefan.

"Nick..." Rebekah voiced in warning, knowing my thoughts. I glanced at her, but swiftly returned to him.

"Stefan..." I said quietly, raising my arm up beckoning him, "Come here." He walked in strong strides, but I could hardly hold off my urge. I know it was leaking into my eyes, yellow pulsating from them every couple seconds.

"Nicklaus!" Rebekah whispered menacingly, but I ignored her. I had already made my decision.

I eyed him for a moment as he smirked at me, "Yeah?"

"Turn your head to the right."

Without thinking, he did and I was instantly upon him my fangs unsheathing and sinking into his flesh with as much grace as I could muster. I think Rebekah screamed, but I couldn't hear anything apart from the blood rushing into my dry mouth. Vampire blood was always so much better, so much different from human blood. The thick, powerful substance slipped down my burning throat like scotch. Stefan pulled me closer and I allowed him only having enough self control to concentrate on not killing him. His blood was just as I thought it would taste, an exotic elixir from thousands of different victims. I wasn't prepared for it to be the best blood I'd ever tasted though.

I found myself abandoning delicacy as I wound my hands around his back, shoving his neck closer to me. Stefan let out a groan that I didn't know he was capable of that made the blood even sweeter. Then his arm dropped and I knew I needed to stop. Just one my gulp, one more, one more, one...more

Stop.

I pulled away from him, retaining as much as my dignity as possible after such a clearly intimate feed. I gasped a few times, realizing how much energy it took to bury my blood lust. I looked up at Rebekah once I had capture most of my composure.

"See? Told you I could handle it." I said, arrogance absent from my voice as I continued to gasp slightly. Rebekah rested her stone cold eyes upon me, "Barely, Nick. Next time, you might kill him and I won't be able to stop you."

With that she ran out of the gas station back to the car and slammed the door angrily. I think she was more angry about the closeness between Stefan and I than me actually drinking his blood. I mean, it could have been sexual had I been so inclined. But I wasn't and never usually was. My sexual expeditions as a youth had really shown me everything and it had lost its luster after a while. Stefan was interesting, but still he was just another vampire. Or at least that's what I keep convincing myself. The alternative would be... Oh who the Hell cares.

I stood up finally, wiping the last bits of Stefan's blood from my chin and looked at Tyler. He was shocked, but there was so much wonder and curiosity in his eyes that I felt a need to elaborate. He was just too much like a child.

"Vampire blood is stronger, harder to resist, and only people with hundreds of years of self control built up can really handle it." I said nonchalantly grinning, "I wouldn't advise it. Most get addicted." My jaw clenched briefly, "That's what happened to Mikael. You may return to the car."

I gazed down at the mess of blood at my feet. Mikael. That's why we didn't do this. Not only because it was dangerous, but because it was Mikael's way of life. It's what made him stronger, faster, and smarter than Rebekah and Elijah. The one thing we couldn't figure out, however, is how Mikael found us so quickly. I did find out, however, when I drank from a vampire for the first time. The longer you drink from them, the more memories you absorb. The first ones are always what's on their minds, but as the feeding goes longer and longer you delve deeper into their psyche. Once you reach the bottom, they're dead. And since Mikael always killed his victims, I'd say he had a pretty good GPS. With Stefan, I only got a Ripper's empty mind and beyond that memories of Elena. That's when I stopped. God knows I don't want to see that. Of course, I never told Elijah and Rebekah of this secret, wouldn't want them tying me up and trying to find out things they didn't need to know.

A small shuffle of feet roused me from my thoughts and I grinned into green eyes. They were changed. Confused, exhilarated and clearly wanting more. Typical for a vampire whose been fed on.

"That was..." Stefan started and I grinned, "Yes, yes I can imagine. Amazing, fantastic, best thing you've ever experienced?" I asked sardonically.

Stefan replied in pure seriousness, however, "Revealing." he said simply, running out of the gas station.

What the Hell? Revealing?

My heart began beating at a dangerously fast rate. What did he mean? Did feeding on a vampire reveal things in your own thoughts to them? I suppose it could be possible, I've never been fed on before so how would I know? I nearly ran out the door to toss him on the pavement and find out what he knew, but then I thought better of it. Better to have the others thinking it was something that happened, passed and we would all just move on from. Besides, couldn't crack the facade in front of lovely Elena. She might take advantage of it.

Oh right. Food. For Elena. Wasting no time, I skimmed through the choices and select things that a normal teenaged girl would like. I also grabbed a clean rag from behind the counter, dodging the body of the cashier, doused it in water. After a moment's hesitation, I grabbed a pack of cigarettes off the shelf and tossed them into my jacket pocket.

When I returned to the car, I found Rebekah in the driver's seat with Elena next to her. The two seemed to be... Chatting? Stomping my feet perhaps a bit childishly and I slammed open the passenger door.

"You're in my seat." I said simply and the two just laughed at me. Laughed! If she bloody thought I was squeezing in the back with two other grown men she was sorely mistaken. Besides, I couldn't dictate Rebekah's reckless driving from the back seat!

"Nick, you owe me. Get your ass in the back." Rebekah said simply, giving me a meaningful look. Dammit. She was right. I nearly slammed the door, but thought better of it and retained my composure.

"Elena." I said, my voice calm but demanding. She turned to me with a rebellious look in her eye. I raised the rag to her face and felt her flinch as I wiped her face free of the disgusting puke that was still stinking up the parking lot. I didn't like cleaning her face, but hey maybe it would make her think I was "redeemable" or something. Elena was a fixer after all. If she thought there was some "redemption" to be had she wouldn't try so hard to escape. Made sense.

She looked at me with calm hatred and scepticism in her eyes. I handed her the food without a word and opened the door to climb in the back.

"Your ass is smaller than mine. You get the middle." Stefan said, his eyes dancing with amusement. Damn, he was getting pretty good at hiding things. Still, he ordered me to do something. Not ok. I grabbed his neck, spun him around a threw him forcefully back onto the pavement. It only resulted in some scrapes and bruises, but I was too tired and full to care. I'd kill him later.

"Don't order me around, Ripper." I said with as much dignity as I could muster. Rebekah was hiding a smile and Stefan was simply grinning at me, dusting off his jeans. With another sigh, I helped myself into the middle seat and quickly found myself squished way to close to both men. I hated touching and this was way too close.

A/N: Hey guys! I know I've been completely MIA for several weeks and I'm so sorry! I've had a lot of stuff going on with applying to College, Finals and some minor tragedies in real life. I hope this chapter is good for y'all! Tried to slip some kelfan in there so you guys will know the direction of the story. Am I still getting Klaus right? I feel like I am, but hey I could be crazy! Also, how do you guys like that semi-reference to the novels? Oh yeah. That's right. Seeing into people's souls when you feed from them lol.

The next chapter should be up in at least 2 weeks. Thanks for your patience and support!

-Eclipse